Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Growing Community Partnerships in 2021

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New Community Board Member, Staff with Proven Dedication to Southeastern San Diego Join Nonprofit

SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2021) – Southeastern San Diego has much to offer – its passionate residents, businesses and organizations, community spirit and culture. Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation remains dedicated to this vibrant community and growing partnerships, projects and resources in 2021.

To strengthen these efforts, Jacobs Center has announced new board member Louie Nguyen, CFA, who is dedicated to economic development in Southeastern San Diego; promotion of Christie Marcella to executive director to build on Jacobs Center’s critical work; and new director of development operations and institutional advancement Selina Castillo Hudgins to bring attention to philanthropic support needed for neighborhood projects.

“Our mission has always been about a thriving community envisioned and realized by its residents. These key team members have a proven passion for this mission and have already made an impact in Southeastern San Diego,” said Reginald Jones, president and CEO of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. “In partnership with others, we continue to prioritize the entire community through physical development, economic opportunities, neighborhood resources and cultural arts. Our approach is simple and grounded in equity and social justice.”

Louie Nguyen, CFA, is the Jacobs Center’s newest community board member. He joins the board’s two additional community members, Paul Robinson and Juan Carlos Hernandez, as important voices at the organization’s board level to lead and advise. Nguyen’s commitment to Southeastern San Diego is clear in his current role as Chief Investment Officer at Mission Driven Finance, a private impact investment boutique that provides opportunities to easily invest in the community to solve social pain points.

Through Mission Driven Finance, he recently played a key role in bringing Access Youth Academy, a nonprofit organization that helps train youth to be first-generation college students through the sport of squash – all at no cost to the area. The campus will also offer recreation spaces and meeting rooms for the general community to use for free and is set to open this summer.

Nguyen is also excited to bring his nearly 25 years as a skilled investor to the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center Advocacy Council, helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and jobs within San Diego through the region’s first low-to-moderate income and diversity-focused business accelerator program. The program recently held its third Union Bank Start-Up Pitch Competition, awarding $15,000 in business grants to three diverse women-owned businesses.

Christie Marcella has been promoted to executive director of the organization. In her previous position as community and economic development officer, Marcella spent much of her focus on building and strengthening partnerships with local organizations on their home turf, intuitively fostering a collaborative environment of shared resources, including the Jacobs Center’s meeting spaces, communications expertise, and regional relationships. She is often heard asking, “How can we do something now that will help our organizations 10 years from now?”

Attentive and responsive to supporting residents directly impacted by COVID-19,  Marcella worked to establish the Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund with The San Diego Foundation, which supported 33 nonprofits to directly help the community during the pandemic, and set up multiple and weekly food drive-thru events in the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center parking lot. She also serves as co-chair of the Economic Activities Working Group for the San Diego Promise Zone and serves on Mayor Todd Gloria’s BackToWorkSD workforce development group. 

Selina Castillo Hudgins is the Jacobs Center’s new director of development operations and institutional advancement. Hudgins’ passion for the mission is finding ways to increase philanthropic support for Southeastern San Diego that benefits the community for the long-term. Hired for her proven fund development experience, she has a successful background in determining organization needs, developing partner programs for community growth and strengthening fundraising efforts.

In this newly created position, Hudgins will collaborate to grow key programs like the Business Resource Center, cultural arts partnerships, community engagement opportunities and general operations support. She will also be leading Jacobs Center’s communications to continue interacting and updating the general community, partners and donors.

To learn more about how the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation supports community development and partnerships in Southeastern San Diego, visit jacobscenter.org. For sponsorship and program support opportunities, please contact Hudgins at schudgins@jacobscenter.org.

About Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

Founded in 1995, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is focused on building communities and lifting lives. As a creative catalyst and incubator, the Jacobs Center works with the community to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. This means transforming nearly 60 acres into sustainable developments that provide residents with greater access to resources and amenities that improve their quality of life. Additionally, the Jacobs Center works with community organizations and partners to increase residents’ economic opportunities, leadership skills and educational success. Learn more at jacobscenter.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.